Article by guest contributer, Greg Deitz.
One of the many hats that I wear is to work with some athletes remotely. This presents an all new level of difficulty to an already difficult field of strength and conditioning. It is not simply writing down a program and saying go.
There is and always will be one central challenge to any distance coach and that is the ability to monitor and actually coach their movements. While, it is challenging to write quality programming for anyone, try teaching someone how to simply hinge correctly in a power clean and then add that a lot of the time you are coaching off of a video submission and not while they are actually training. That is the universal challenge.
Most of the other challenges that I face, come from the frequency with which I am coaching an individual. Many people come to me to simply focus on weaknesses, so we talk once a week and they follow a program that I write for them on one or two days a week. The challenge on me for this type of training is that, I must design a program that will not interfere with anything else that might pop up on their training radar. For me generally this is where I take advantage of using odd objects such as sandbags, atlas stones and kettlebells. All of these instruments aid in my ability to help break down where weaknesses in the system are and focus on those. Usually with the athletes, I will also give them point to focus on as they complete their other workouts during the week.
The next group of athletes that I work with are those that follow my programming completely. These are actually easier to program for as we are in constant contact and I control the direction of their training. With these athletes the biggest challenge that you will run into is making sure that they continue to buy into the process and trust that the results will come. Usually with a new client the results come fast and furious, but then there is a plateau where adjustments have to be made. We also have to be on the same page about what exactly each piece of the training is doing.
All in all, there are challenges no matter what method of coaching I do, but through tools such as TrueCoach, the gap is shrinking. I am very grateful for the features that let me communicate with my athletes and develop their programming through this tool!